Tristan Bilash was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in his 30s (at the time he still presented as a woman). His diagnosis and treatment were entwined with his gender dysphoria and his developing identity as a trans man.
In this peer-reviewed article from the Journal of Clinical Oncology (co-authored with psychologist Dr. Lauren Walker) “Spare Parts: Navigating Ovarian Cancer as a Transgender Man” he shares his struggles with with hormone therapy, his feelings of isolation when not finding a peer support group that “fit”, and of the challenge of passing as a cisgender man in a healthcare space tailored to cisgender women. Click the link below to read.
At age 30, when the gynecologist confirmed that I needed a bilateral oophorectomy and total hysterectomy to treat ovarian cancer, my reaction was clearly not typical; it was a combination of relief, elation, and fear: Relief at finally having confirmation that I was correct—something was not right with my body; elation that these body parts, long integrated with pain and dysphoria, would be removed; and fear because this came with a cost: cancer.
Citation: Bilash, T., & Walker, L. M. (2022). Spare Parts: Navigating Ovarian Cancer as a Transgender Man. Journal of clinical oncology : official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, 40(9), 1027–1029. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.01249